It is with sadness and frustration that we, on behalf of the members of Spectrum, must condemn the violence and display of hatred that sullied our Spring Drag Show April 16. Spectrum and members of the GLBTQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community work continuously to create a sense of fraternity within Oxford and the Miami University campus, and our drag shows are often the most popular and visible opportunities to do so.
Further, the shows are put together as fundraising endeavors that benefit a multitude of charitable causes. We seek to bring the Miami community together and foster tolerance for diversity on campus in an entertaining atmosphere while raising funds and awareness for causes like cancer research, HIV/AIDS care and relief for the victims of the Haitian earthquake, and we cannot help but be angered when the venue is charged with violence and homophobia.
When a student (or group of students) is verbally and physically attacked in a university setting, it is shocking; however, Spectrum must express its continued frustration and anger that extreme violence is directed at the GLBTQ community in Oxford. There have been several appalling instances of homophobic violence that have tinged our college experience over the course of the last few years, but it is absolutely unacceptable when members of our community end up in the hospital after being attacked by a large group of people in a very public setting.
Spectrum hopes the Miami experience will allow students to grow and create an identity that will allow them to navigate their future lives. However, when violence is the defining characteristic of that experience, there is clearly something wrong. We look to the Miami community as a whole for support in challenging the violence of last Friday. Community support is the key to tolerance and Spectrum hopes this incident of violence will serve to bring students, staff, faculty and neighbors together to combat all forms of hatred and intolerance.
Matt Hall and David Morgan